Bodies of 3 missing kids, woman found in Minnesota lake

Midwest

Friends and family gathered at Vadnais Lake after news of a dead child being pulled out of the lake broke, Friday, July 1, 2022 in Vadnais Heights, Minn. The bodies of two young children have been recovered from the Minnesota lake, and searchers are still looking for a third they fear may have been intentionally drowned. (Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via AP)

VADNAIS HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — The bodies of three young children and a woman believed to be their mother have been recovered from a Minnesota lake, and authorities say the deaths are being investigated as a homicide.

Meanwhile, the body of the children’s father was found at a different location hours earlier. Names had not been released as of Saturday afternoon. The children, all under the age of 5, were two boys and a girl.

The chain of events began Friday morning when the man’s body was found at a mobile home park in the town of Maplewood, near Minneapolis. Police determined that the woman had left with the children, and a search began.

Maplewood Police Lt. Joe Steiner said the woman’s car was found near Vadnais Lake around 4 p.m. Friday. The shoes of the children were found on the shore.

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office said the body of the first child was recovered from the lake around 7:30 p.m. Friday. The second child’s body was found just after midnight. The bodies of the third child and the woman were found around 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

The bodies were taken to a medical examiner.

“There’s nothing more tragic than the loss of young children,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said at a news conference on Friday. He said he considered the deaths homicides.

Teams in dry suits and Ramsey County Sheriff’s deputies search for the bodies of a mother and her three children at Vadnais Lake, Saturday, July 2, 2022, in Vadnais Heights, Minn. The father of the children died at a different location hours earlier. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)

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